Friday 12 October 2012

New garden list

We are renting a house in Roade in Northamptonshire, a small village surrounded by farmland. When we arrived it didn’t look too promising in terms of bird life, there were no plants in the garden at all.
The garden bereft of plants with new feeder installed.
 We set up our feeders as soon as we could, but even after a week we had had exactly two visitors, a male and a female house sparrow that came separately.
House Sparrow

A short while later we went out and bought some plants, a few flowers to make the place look more colourful and attract insects and a tree which we planted in a pot for now and placed near to the feeders. The feeders were in the open and the surrounding gardens had few tall trees to provide a safe path to them. Birds are reluctant at first to dive straight in to feeders for safety reasons. So this small  flowering cherry tree was placed alongside to give them some confidence.

It must have worked as we soon had a regular  juvenile goldfinch and a short visit by an adult. The Woodpigeons and Collared Doves started to come and a couple of Magpies. So things are starting to get moving and now that the starlings have found the fat balls they come regularly.

Juvenile Goldfinch
At the front of the house we hung a single feeder from the eaves of the bungalow and it has been visited by just one Greenfinch so far, across the road they had done the same before we came and seem to get a few more there, perhaps they increase. Strange that these birds don’t come to the back garden where there are more feeders, they must fly overhead from time to time.

We have heard tits and Robins in the surrounding gardens, but as yet they have not found us.

Fly-overs include Jackdaws, Rooks and Carrion crows, plus a huge flock of Black-headed Gulls one day, a couple of possible fleeting buzzard sightings plus a sighting of two that must have flown over the house while we were coming home in the car and even more amazing a brief view of what may have been 5 cranes flying over! We shall never know.

We also are blessed by the visits of a hedgehog at night, something that Elis is very pleased with, she loves them to bits. We thought we had one coming, but set up a camera trap to prove it.

We will continue to try and build a more bird-friendly garden and keep you posted as to the news of our visitors. I’m not expecting numbers like we had at the apartment in Ubatuba though, where the list reached 101 in the end! As it stands today, the list here has 13 confirmed species. Black-headed Gull, Collared Dove, Woodpigeon, Robin, Blackbird, Magpie, Rook, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, House Sparrow and Starling. 

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